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Polk County Mined Lands Agricultural Research and Demonstration Project

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The Polk County Mined Lands Agricultural Research/Demonstration Project is a cooperative effort among the Polk County Board of County Commissioners, University of Florida, IFAS, Polk Soil and Water Conservation District, the phosphate industry and the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research. The basic objective of the study is to develop techniques and equipment for growing high value agricultural crops on reclaimed phosphatic clay settling areas. By the year 2010, the State of Florida will have approximately 50,887 ha (125,000 acres) of phosphatic clay settling ponds, a large percentage of which are in Polk County. The study is funded by the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research and Polk County and is scheduled to run through mid 1995. Current research is being conducted on two reclaimed clay settling ponds:

1. 155 acres at the I.M.C. Green Bay Mine.

2. 75 acres at the Agrico Fort Green Mine.

Project personnel completed the third year of a three-year contract on February 29, 1992. Research for the three year period from 1989 to 1992 has been divided into eight categories – economics, radionuclide uptake studies, soil science, engineering, agronomic crops, vegetable crops, turfgrass and woody ornamentals.